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Protecting the mailstream – Properly dispose of hazardous, regulated items

August 3, 2023
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The Postal Service wants to remind employees to safeguard the mailstream from improperly wrapped or damaged packages containing hazardous materials.

Once packages containing damaged, leaking or nonmailable hazardous materials are identified, they should be brought to a designated rewrap or hazardous material mail staging area for assessment.

Hazardous items that are disposed of locally could be regulated and require special attention.

Potentially regulated items include aerosol cans, batteries, cleaning supplies and other chemicals, including bleach, drugs and pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, fuels, hand sanitizer, lamps, lighter fluid, nail polish remover, oils, paints, perfumes, pesticides, and solvents and thinners.

Failure to properly dispose of items classified as hazardous, universal, state-regulated medical or infectious waste violates environmental regulations and could result in a notice of violation.

The Damaged, Leaking and Non-Mailable Parcels — Waste Management Environmental Compliance Bulletin has more information on the waste classification process and proper disposal.

Contact information for state-specific disposal requirements or additional questions can be found on the Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability Blue page.

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